Dr Janina Ramirez

Cultural Historian. Broadcaster. Author.


Art Detective Podcast - every week

Janina has teamed up with the History Hit Network to produce a new weekly podcast: Art Detective. 

Art is the truest expression of the workings of the mind, free from learnt language. More than that, it is the visual expression of culture, politics, society, religion, emotion, zeitgeist, channelled through the brush, chisel, or hands of creative individuals. Understanding art allows us to understand history: to pin it with images, and pepper it with the faces, colours, drama and expression of its time.

This series is designed to give bite-sized insights into the world of Art History, bringing one image to life across 20 minutes through discussion with experts. History is never far from view, so each image will be expanded to sit within the cultural and historical context that produced it.  

Janina Joins Dan Snow to discuss her new book: The Private Lives of the Saints: Power, Passion and Politics in Anglo-Saxon England. 

Shedding light on the dark ages

Janina presents a podcast for The Department of Continuing Education. The Dark Ages are traditionally seen as nasty, brutish and short - a cultural and intellectual waste land, with virtually nothing worthy of art historical consideration. But Janina argues this is far from the truth. But Janina argues this is far from the truth - by exploring the imaginative world of the Anglo-Saxons, and thinking ourselves into the rich fabric of visual and verbal riddles, we can unravel some of the most enigmatic works of art this nation has produced - from the spectacular Lindisfarne Gospels to the complex Ruthwell Cross. 


Janina explores our relationship with, and attitudes to, darkness and the night. From the beginning of humanity when night was a time to sleep and hide from predators, over millennia the night and darkness has gathered a multitude of myths and cultural references all around the world and is something we can exploit, or something we might fear. Dr Janina Ramirez examines the human perspective of the dark, from night vision technology to Norwegian forest myths.